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Behind the Curtain Blog

Archive by year: 2020Return
By Kaustavi Sarkar, Professor, Department of Dance, University of North Carolina at Charlotte ~~ Daily dance practice or Sadhana is crucial in the life of an Indian classical dance practitioner. Movement of the physical body becomes second nature ingrained within muscle memory within this daily bodily regimen. The emotional nuance that remains central to engaging with the corporeal also needs substantial attention to detail on a daily basis. Training in movement requires practicing both Nritta.....
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By Heather Acomb, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, Nazareth College ~~ The Bill Evans Method, affectionately referred to as “BETI Pedagogy” because of its birth inside of the Bill Evans Teachers Intensive (BETI) over the course of many years, is infused with elements of Creative Systems Theory, Transformational Learning Theory, and the framework of Laban/Barteneiff Movement Analysis. What makes this value system so unique is its ability to help us cultivate community...
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By Weiselande 'Tanui' Cesar, Executive Founding Director and Choreographer of TLL, Inc ~~ It is universally known that dance is a form of communication, and it is often considered to be the language of our soul. From a cultural context, dance and music are essentially the fabric of cultures. In many cultures, folk dances emerged from the day to day activities of the common people, and Haitian Folk dances are no different. Haitians are a group African descent people...
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By Sara Lavan, Executive Director and Co-Artistic Director of Local Motion Project ~~ Local Motion Project (LMP) is a young organization in Alexandria Virginia, whose mission is to bring people together in meaningful experiences through the art of dance and movement. Founded in 2016 as a youth dance program, it has grown to provide programming for youth and adults alike. We at LMP, like all of you, have been navigating our newest dance journey and what it means to serve our community during the ...
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By Allegra Romita and Nancy Romita ~~ As you read this, freeze. Hold the position in which you currently find yourself. Do not adjust anything. Without judgment or shifting, notice the position of both feet. Does one foot have more weight on it than the other? Are both feet on the floor? Is there an even weight distribution? Is one foot or ankle a little more turned or rolled in or out? Are you sitting on one foot? Is a leg crossed and how does...
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By Meg Garofola, M.A.T., CYT-250 ~~ My first and greatest dance teacher has been my breath. Following my body’s curiosities, sensations, feelings, and impulses has been powerful, connective, and healing. Spending hours in the studio moving for movement’s sake, for prowess, for living a more beautiful life has greatly informed my understanding of dance, as a mover, observer, and choreographer. My studies in yoga and somatic dance...
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By Alexandra "Sparkles" Lund ~~ Worried that our studio cohesiveness and energy was going to fall apart if we couldn’t be in the studio together, the staff put our heads together and developed a simple, inexpensive and effective way to help keep the kids on a regular schedule by using a mix of live and pre-recorded classes. The goal is to keep their bodies moving and help provide them a bit of consistency and “normalcy”...
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By Luke Muscat, M.S.Ed Candidate and Teacher, The Hewitt School; Steps Youth Programs; The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center ~~ The constructivist approach to education is rooted in a student driven, inquiry-based approach to learning. Using constructivism has proven to improve student motivation, commitment, satisfaction, and learning retention (Woolfolk, Winne, & Perry, 2012). In a pre-professional ballet program, however, such a contemporary outlook on learning is scarce. Due to its trad...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator ~~ With schools and studios closing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, NDEO members have been generously sharing ideas for alternative teaching strategies on our Online Forums. These are truly uncharted and challenging times for all dance educators - and our students. With that in mind, we will be compiling some ideas and resources for alternative teaching that have been posted. We are sharing these ideas...
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By Donna H. Krasnow and M. Virginia Wilmerding ~~ Dance training is at the heart of the art form of dance. All dancers can recall the teachers who had tremendous influence on their growth as young dancers and artists. The science known as motor behavior – an umbrella term for motor development, motor control, and motor learning – is having a stronger voice in helping teachers and dancers develop...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator ~~ Did you know that the month of March is dedicated to dance in schools? Every March, the National Dance Education Organization celebrates Dance in Your Schools Month. We recognize the benefits of dance education as part of the curriculum, acknowledge the achievements...
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By Ashley Goos, Adjunct Professor of Dance, Xavier University and Miami University ~~ I have so many students who say they can’t. Can’t turn out, can’t leap, can’t articulate their spine, can’t count, can’t dance. I have students that haven’t even tried these things but already “know” they can’t. So in my class, I employ a radical approach: everyone can. Students only get this idea about “can’t” from being told so. They are being told they don’t have the right body...
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By Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT ~~ Dance has always been a natural form of expression and for many people a “therapy”. That being said many institutions, behavioral health facilities, and even dance companies and studios are recognizing the inherent healing power that can come from dance. As dance continues to gain popularity in the media more and more people are embracing dance as a way to meet physical and emotional needs. It is not uncommon to see the word “therapy”...
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By Lindsey McGovern, Owner and Director of Enchanted Dance Academy ~~ What even defines a “healthy body image” in this day and age? It’s nearly impossible to avoid feelings of insecurity--especially as a teenager--as we’re subjected to constant comparison through various growing forms of social media. While the modeling and fashion industries are certainly making strides to value all body types, insecurity in growing dancers is still all too prevalent--in part due to the mirrors surrounding ...
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By Kaylee Bosse, Gonzaga State University ~~ The bus had arrived, buzzing with the energy of over 20 fourth and fifth graders. The first day of ZagDance class had come. The children emerged from the vehicle like ants darting their way to a sandwich dropped on the floor, forming surprisingly orderly lines as they chattered about a wide range of subjects. As the tiny beings approached, I concealed my anxiousness with a Disney princess smile. A laser-like focus on becoming a professional ballet dan...
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